Metatheory for the Twenty-First Century: Critical Realism and Integral Theory in Dialogue, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Metatheory for the Twenty-First Century

Critical Realism and Integral Theory in Dialogue, 1st Edition

Edited by Roy Bhaskar, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Nicholas Hedlund, Mervyn Hartwig


326 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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Metatheory for the 21st Century isone of the many exciting results of over four years of in-depth engagement between two communities of scholar-practitioners: critical realism and integral theory. Building on its origins at a symposium in Luxembourg in 2010, this book examines the points of connection and divergence between critical realism and integral theory, arguably two of the most comprehensive and sophisticated contemporary metatheories. The Luxembourg symposium and the four more that followed explored the possibilities for their cross-pollination, culminating in five positions on their potential for integration, and began the process of fashioning a whole new evolutionary trajectory for both integral theory and critical realism. The contributors to this book bring together critical realism and integral theory in order to explore the potential of this collaboration for the advancement of both. Highlighting the ways in which these metatheories can transform scholarship and address the most pressing global issues of the 21st century, this book will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the areas of metatheory, philosophy, social theory, critical realism, integral theory and current affairs more generally.

Table of Contents

Foreword Roger Walsh Preface Roy Bhaskar Acknowledgments Introduction: On the Deep Need for Integrative Metatheory in the 21st-Century Nicholas Hedlund, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Mervyn Hartwig, Roy Bhaskar 1. Beyond Nature and Humanity: Reflections on the Emergence and Purposes of Metatheories Zachary Stein 2. Healing the Half-World: The Emancipatory Potential of Meta-Level Social Science Mark G. Edwards 3. Developing a Complex Integral Realism for Global Response: Three Meta-Frameworks for Knowledge Integration and Coordinated Action Sean Esbjörn-Hargens 4. Towards a Complex, Integral Realism Paul Marshall 5. Rethinking the Intellectual Resources for Addressing Complex 21st-Century Challenges: Towards a Critical Realist Integral Theory Nicholas Hedlund 6. After Integral Gets Real: On Meta-Critical Chiasma of CR and IT Michael Schwartz 7. Why I’m a Critical Realist Mervyn Hartwig 8. Contributions of Embodied Philosophy to Ontological Questions in Critical Realism and Integral Theory Tom Murray Afterword Markus Molz



About the Editors

Roy Bhaskar (1944-2014) was the chief architect of the philosophy of critical realism and the author of many acclaimed and infl uential works, including A Realist Theory of Science, The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation, Reclaiming Reality, Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom, Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom, Plato Etc., Reflections on meta-reality and From Science to Emancipation. Prior to his death, while this book was in preparation, he was founding chair of the International Centre for Critical Realism and World Scholar at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London.

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens is the founder of MetaIntegral, a network of organizations that apply integrative metatheories to global challenges. He is also the executive editor of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice and editor of the SUNY Series in Integral Theory.

Nicholas Hedlund is executive director of the Integral Research Center ( and a PhD researcher at University College London, Institute of Education (University of London), where he is conducting emancipatory social research into the philosophical, cultural and psychological dimensions of climate change.

Mervyn Hartwig is founding editor of the Journal of Critical Realism and principal author and editor of the Dictionary of Critical Realism.

About the Series

Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General